Thursday, February 26, 2009

Con Nooga, Part II

As I said yesterday, fantasy and science fiction cons are fun and exciting. I loved the Con Nooga experience, but I am a bit shy and it’s still strange to me being an author. Speaking on panels, sitting at a table and people coming up to me, signing autographs! Crazy.

The two panels I was on at were a "Writers Roundtable" and "Promotion for the Creator." At the roundtable, there were more writers than audience members, but it was interesting. It was exciting—and a little scary—to think that people might be interested in hearing what I had to say. The promotion panel was better attended. The other panelists were more experienced in this promotion stuff, and I learned as much as the audience.

I reunited with some fantastic people over the weekend. I met Christina Barber at Hallowcon last year. Though she’s probably about the age of my daughters, she took me under her wing at Hallowcon and again at Con Nooga. I appreciate her help and support. Other nice people I met at Hallowcon and saw again at Con Nooga were Mark Helwig—an amazing artist, and Joe Dickerson and Lonny Harper from Aberrant Dreams.

I met some really nice people at Con Nooga. D. A. Adams was nice enough to give me hints about how to overcome my shyness. Robert Freese had the table next to mine, and we talked a lot. He’s a nice guy with good information. Shane Moore is an amazing guy who knows more about promotion for an author than I ever will. Thank you, gentlemen.

I would also like to thank my friend Barbara for getting me involved in the con scene in the first place. You created a monster, girl!

I’m only now recovering from the weekend, but the experience was well worth a little exhaustion. I can’t wait for FantaSciCon next month. See you there!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Con Nooga, Part I

This last weekend I was an author guest at Con Nooga, which was held here in Chattanooga at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel and convention center. I didn’t realize the place was so huge. The last time I was there, they had made some old train cars into hotel rooms, and there was a moderate sized hotel building. Now, there are three hotels besides the train car rooms, plus restaurants, a full-size theatre, buildings with convention space, and more. There was actually a small bus to take people from one place to another. The town I grew up in wasn’t much bigger.

The con itself was a blast. Much fun is made of science fiction/fantasy conventions, but the truth is there aren’t nicer people in the world. Yes, there are crazy costumes. Yes, there are people being more outgoing and goofy than in their everyday lives. But that’s part of the attraction. A person can go to one of these things and become someone else for a while. Sort of the way reading an SF or fantasy novel takes you away for a while.

This was the second con I’d been to as an author. The first was Hallowcon last October. To be honest, I’d never thought of going to a con as an author, but a friend of mine encouraged me to contact the guy who does Hallowcon, and he invited me to come. I was immediately hooked. It’s a trip just attending a con, but going as an author is an even stranger—and exciting—experience. I’m a little shy, and being in the spotlight was a bit unnerving. Even with Hallowcon under my belt, Con Nooga was still kind of scary. Luckily, I met some fantastic people who encouraged me and gave me a lot of useful information.

I have no idea why I look so stuck-up in this picture, but it's the only one I have (technical difficulty with the camera. I do strange things to electronics.)
Tomorrow I’ll continue the tale. See you then!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Last Wednesday, my novella Keepers of Legend was released from The Wild Rose Press. I’m excited, thrilled, beside myself.

So why, you might ask, is this crazy woman promoting the novella today, when it was released two days ago? Well, you see, it’s like this, not only do I write well, I also am quite talented in the clumsy department. I was up early Wednesday morning, ready to immerse myself in the wonder that is a new release. I was feeling great, up early, ready to get started on this magical day. I was grooming myself, as we women are wont to do on such occasions, and this grooming involved tweezing my eyebrows. I even had a new pair of tweezers. Sharper than most, I’d caught my skin several times with the things. I love the way they work, but I knew I had to be careful with them. I wasn’t careful enough though. I managed to scratch my eye with the dang things. Pain, much tearing, inability to tolerate light—for instance the light coming from a computer screen. I felt quite foolish, and very frustrated.

My husband had to get Online and pull up The Wild Rose Press. I peeked at the wondrous sight, then went back to my dark room to continue feeling foolish and frustrated.

My eye was somewhat better yesterday, but I still could only tolerate the computer for limited amounts of time. Even today I’m still quite sensitive to light. But it’s better.

Here’s a blurb for Keepers of Legend:
Deep in the Smoky Mountains a strange creature sweeps through the air and captures the imagination. It looks like a dragon, but is it? Jessica Knight has her doubts, but can she protect the amazing animal long enough to discover the truth?

Wanna read an excerpt? You can go here.

The Dragons are awake. Now everything changes.

Happy Friday the 13th!